Hospitals are advertising more. "Part of the reason for the advertising boom is that consumers are becoming more involved in their treatment options, including where they receive care. High-deductible insurance plans with lower premiums are expected to become more popular as employers seek to slow annual increases in their share of healthcare costs. Patients with such plans will face more out-of-pocket expenses, giving them added incentive to shop for ...

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Dr. Andy hosts Grand Rounds this week. Come get the weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

Why this mother dumped her pediatrician:

But these days, any parent with a PC can do a quick Google search to determine the exact degree to which their physicians are treating them like children. Even the most obscure medical studies are easily accessible. Forget Dr. Spock. I can peruse Danish researchers' findings on the connection between bed wetting and the color blue or whether being exposed to Donald Trump in ...

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Waiting to see the doctor? Patients can help:

Dr. Molly Katz, president of the Ohio State Medical Association, said patients share some blame.

"If you know you've got a major issue that you're ready to talk about and know it's going to take some time, let us know," said Katz, a Cincinnati obstetrician. "Otherwise, we're behind the rest of the day."

Physicians, she said, aren't like ...

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Tips for getting men to go to the doctor.

That is one busy ER doc. "Besides being a mom to eight children and serving as president of the Harris County Medical Society, Fite works 76 hours per week in two full-time jobs as an emergency physician at Christus St. Catherine Hospital in Katy and Methodist Willowbrook Hospital.

She also works part-time as an attending physician with the emergency residency program at Memorial Hermann Hospital and serves as the ...

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TennCare has dropped coverage for benzodiazepines and barbituates. "TennCare officials say the move is for safety: the drugs are highly addictive, frequently abused, over-prescribed and safer substitutes are available, said David Beshara, TennCare's chief pharmacy officer."

Tips for patients going to the ER. Immeasurably helpful for the ER staff.

Multiple failed vasectomies causes depression in the mother, leading to a lawsuit:

The wife had a third child in 2003 after the first of her husband's sterilisation operations. They decided to abort the pregnancy that occurred following the second vasectomy. The woman became depressed after this and had to take medication.

They are seeking $400,000 from the Auckland doctor for psychological damage to the woman, the costs and ...

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A reader writes:

I'm a family doc in Toronto. A patient of mine recently had a housecall service come to his hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale.

The patient has had a hx of back pain and multiple surgeries to his ls spine with little benefit. He had an acute back spasm while in Florida and called a service, that will remain nameless for now. The owner of the company ...

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The tragic pain of Alzheimer's dementia. "It's almost like losing a baby at that point."

You sometimes need lie detectors in the ER:

The same emergency rooms that treat the overdoses have also seen an increase in the number of healthy patients trying to scam doctors out of the very same drugs.

"There are people who make a living going into the ER with fake injuries to get drugs," said Dr. David Heller, an emergency room physician at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. "It's a ...

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Dr. Crippen looks at the happy Concerta kids and the ADHD epidemic. Fantastic blog, by the way.

Good question:

Recently, I, along with several other folks, waited in the offices of two different doctors. While we waited, pharmaceutical salespeople stopped in to see the staff and doctors. Sometimes they leave free samples doctors can give to those who can't afford to pay for the drugs. That is good. But why can't these salespeople make appointments as the patients must do to see a doctor?

An optometrist puts his practice up on eBay. Is $450,000 a good deal?

Derek Lowe on Pfizer's irrational Exubera:

Pfizer may be counting on its (justly) famous marketing powers to put Exubera over. If the landscape, though, really is changing to more rigorous cost/benefit calculations, that might not do the trick. I realize that the BW authors have an interest in promoting this viewpoint, but I hope that they're on to something. I'd rather see more of the competition between drug companies taking ...

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Merck wins the latest Vioxx case. "This was the second court victory for Merck, and the first in a federal court. The company had argued in this case that plaintiff lawyers never proved any link between Vioxx and the heart attack Richard "Dickey" Irvin suffered in 2001. Merck's lawyers contended Irvin's age, gender and diet all put him at risk for heart attacks."

Meet the new standard of defensive medicine - diffusion tensor imaging:

The new imaging technology is only present in a few dozen research hospitals and not yet available to the average patient. But it already has far-reaching implications for those with head injuries because it can detect abnormalities that an MRI can't. Doctors will also be able to see more precisely how different drugs act on the brain and ...

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Should one always screen for cancer, no matter what the age?

In a video recorded deposition played for the jury, Melser said he probably would have ordered a biopsy if Lindall had been 70 instead of 80.

"The defense was that it is OK not to tell an 80-year-old man that he might have prostate cancer and offer him the chance to be biopsied because the treatment would not ...

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Disturbing: Bodies of fetuses and newborns are clogging sewers in Zimbabwe.

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